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Asus Release a Wiimote-Alike 76

Posted by timothy
from the sincerest-form dept.
arcticstoat writes "After attracting lots of media attention with the Eee PC, Asus has now turned its hand to producing a motion-sensitive controller like the Wiimote, called the Eee Stick. Looking unashamedly like a copy of a Wiimote and Nunchuk setup, the Eee Stick has two components — one with an analogue joystick, and one with a digital control pad — and both sticks have a rumble feature. The Eee Stick is currently planned to be bundled with various models of the Eee PC and Eee Box, but Asus says it can also theoretically work with any PC."
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Asus Release a Wiimote-Alike

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  • Finally an alternative to the mouse.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I use a trackball, you insensitive clod!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        C go. a ekrpat t.fxrapew frg cbo.bocyck. jnre!

        • by Skrapion (955066)

          A keyboard — Dvorak or not — is not really an alternative to the mouse. If you believe it is, then I think I just met somebody I can beat in an FPS.

      • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:24PM (#24514557) Homepage
        I actually do use a trackball, and for the life of me, can't figure out why anybody would prefer the mouse. The trackball requires much less desk space, and also doesn't require constantly positioning your hand. You can leave it in one spot, and are never at a point where you're reaching for it. From my experience, a lot of the RSI problems seem to be from reaching for the mouse. Also, you can be very precise with a trackball. No problems with moving it as you press or release a button, and also easy to do continuous movements without having to reposition it. This makes it great when you have to trace around something when editing a picture.
        • by vsny (1213632)
          I haven't used a trackball in a while, but one problem I had was clicking while navigating with ball. Your hand has to move over the ball while the buttons are fixed.

          With a mouse the buttons are locked to the motion of your hand.

          Also my RSI comes from the muscles in the back of my hand, not my wrist. The trackball makes me hold my hand even higher with nothing to rest on.
          • by sYkSh0n3 (722238)

            My knee-jerk reaction to this was "YOUR DOING IT WRONG!!!!!" but i don't know anything about the trackball you used. The trackballs I use, all allow for the thumb to move the ball and my fingers to rest on the buttons while providing a comfortable resting place for the palm of my hand. I can get all around my screen by only moving my thumb (and also dominate at MechWarrior against my mouse using friends). Other trackball designs I've tried required controlling the ball with your middle finger, while keep

            • I switched to a thumb controlled trackball for a while to curb some tendinitis, but discovered it just transferred the pain to my thumb. Now I just try to immobilize my wrist more and move my whole hand, and use a wrist gel pad, and sometimes even a wrist brace, if my wrist starts acting up. Also, cranking up the sensitivity can reduce the amount you need to physically move the mouse to cover the screen.
        • The trackball requires much less desk space ...

          If you don't have room for a mouse pad, you have other problems.

          ... and also doesn't require constantly positioning your hand.

          I've never understood this complaint. My mouse pad is 11" x 9", I almost never need to pick up the mouse. A track ball, on the other hand, is like having a 1-inch mouse pad, and requires continuous repositioning of the thumb. Granted your thumb is much lighter than a mouse, but how is picking up your thumb constantly better than picking up the mouse never?

          From my experience, a lot of the RSI problems seem to be from reaching for the mouse.

          Most RSI problems are in the wrist, which is a result of moving the mouse and typing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Skrapion (955066)

          I used to be a hard-core trackball enthusiast. I used them for years and years, and I've had an exotic collection of trackballs (my favourite was the Logitech Trackman Marble FX Wireless). But then I went to college, and all the labs had mice. Since I spent so many hours in the labs, my trackballs at home began to feel increasingly alien. I switched to mice, and haven't seen a reason to go back.

          Back in the day, a couple things I liked about trackballs were that you didn't have a cord pulling your mouse

        • by Mattsson (105422)

          Part of the problems arise from the asymmetric |/ position you get when working with a mouse or trackball.
          That's why devices like mousetrapper [mousetrapper.com] is used by many who has problems. It is used kind of like a trackpad found on laptops, but instead of a non-tactile piece of plastic (or glass), it's a rubberized fabric that you move around.
          Personally, I'd prefer one of these keyboards from IBM, though. [ibm.com]
          With those, the position for using the mouse and the keyboard is exactly the same, since the pointing-device sits b

      • A trackball is the only way to go. And not one of those painful thumb ones either, those are only good for making your thumb and wrist sore and swollen. My personal favorite [logitech.com].
    • High fidelity force feedback 3d controller - http://www.novint.com [novint.com]
    • by donaldm (919619)

      Finally an alternative to the mouse.

      Hmm I very much doubt it.

      Using something like a Wii mote for controlling the cursor on a PC screen is rather stupid unless you using it to control a game. Consider trying to type something and then needing to move the cursor to some other place. If you had a mouse this is fairly simple by moving the hand onto the mouse and just moving it in two dimensions. Now consider the same action either the Wii like mote you end up having to pick it (it does not look like it will slide easily) up which means you are

  • so... (Score:2, Funny)

    by razorh (853659)
    something something something... Eee Stick... something something something... Eee Box... and it vibrates?
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)
      Not only that but it's designed shamelessly to look like something already oft compared to an adult toy.
  • So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by corychristison (951993) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:29PM (#24513427)

    It's an air mouse with extra buttons.

    I _like_ the point and click functionality of the Wiimote. I do not like waving my hand in the air in every other direction to try and click on something.

    • I for one embrace our new vibrating stick overlords. It is so origoinal, unlike anything Wii've ever seen before!
  • Pointing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Millennium (2451) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @02:33PM (#24513485) Homepage

    So they say this thing has a "pointer mode," but I don't see any external reference (akin to the Wii Remote's sensor bar). How does this thing determine its position in space if it doesn't have a point of reference?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by randyest (589159)
      It doesn't. You just keep tilting and waving until it randomly (eventually) puts the cursor where you wanted it. Then you click! So easy! Just like a wii!
  • Analogue and rumble? (Score:2, Informative)

    by archammer2 (1041754)

    Didn't Nintendo just lose a law suit because they had controllers with analogue sticks and rumbling?

    • by randyest (589159)
      No. Nintendo (and Microsoft) just lost a lawsuit because they had controllers with "Variable Conductance Sensors." The firms are also alleged to have breached the following patents: 6,102,802 - "Game Controller with Analog Pressure Sensor", 6,135,886, "Variable Conductance Sensor with Elastomeric Dome Cap", 6,208,271 "Remote Controller with Analog Button", 6,222,525 "Image Controller with Sheet Connected Sensors", 6,343, 991 "Game Control with Analog Pressure Sensor", 6,344,791 "Variable Sensor with Tacti
  • Good idea (Score:2, Funny)

    by s.carr1024 (1165945)
    Way to copy a product that really doesn't work. If they Wiimote worked so well, they wouldn't need the Wii Motion Plus. Has anyone ever said, "I like using my computer, but I wish I had to spasmodically waggle my wrist more?" I don't think so. It is possible that the Asus remote is based on better technology (like in the Wii Motion Plus) but my point is it _looks_ like a Wiimote, a product that is actually a binary waggle-or-not sensor combined with an inverse laser pointer.
  • I for one welcome out wii-clone overlords.
    • by randyest (589159)
      1. That joke is so old that the last time I heard it I fell off my dinosaur.
      2. You fucked it up -- it's "our" not "out."
      3. It's not a wii-clone, it's a wiimote clone
      4. ???
      5. Profit!

      Oh, wait...

  • that you can do with the wiimote like head tracking:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw [youtube.com]

    low cost interactive whiteboard:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s5EvhHy7eQ [youtube.com]

    Finger tracking (ala minority report)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0awjPUkBXOU [youtube.com]

    • by randyest (589159)
      You could if it came with a sensor bar. But it doesn't. So you can't. HTH!
      • I think you mean the IR camera, not the sensor bar.
        • by randyest (589159)
          Actually, I mean both. The IR camera is useless without the sensor bar. And since this wiimote "clone" doessn't come with a sensor bar, then it doesn't have an IR camera.
  • Why is it that Asus feels compelled to copy Nintendo's Wii hardware on their latest releases...first their Eee PC [hothardware.com] and now ripping off the Wii-mote/Nunchuk...what's next a balance board to replace their keyboards?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)

      Why is it that Asus feels compelled to copy Nintendo's Wii hardware on their latest releases

      For the same reason that all mainstream video game consoles after the NES copied the NES's directional pad to some extent rather than using a table-top joystick.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by eln (21727)

        For the same reason that all mainstream video game consoles after the NES copied the NES's directional pad to some extent rather than using a table-top joystick.

        Because they hate children and wanted them all to suffer constant thumb pain?

        Nintendo Thumb is a serious and debilitating disorder. Please, won't someone think of the children?

  • Content? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtechie (244489) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:03PM (#24514139)

    People bought the wii because of the compelling gameplay related to the controller... what software is being released for this thing. ASUS isn't in the content business, so I'm not sure where the software is going to come from. Probably nowhere.

    • ASUS isn't in the content business, so I'm not sure where the software is going to come from.

      Apart from the free and non-free games that work on GNU/Linux [happypenguin.org], Asus could start with ports from the GP32, GP2X, and (soon) Pandora communities, or perhaps an emulator that can run homebrew games [pdroms.de].

      • by randyest (589159)
        Hahahahahahaha. Ehhahaahaha. +1 Funny.

        Wait....you're not serious, are you?

        (The link in your sig makes me feel embarrassed for you. "The Internet hate machine is out to get you?" Really? Chan much? Are you the little kid in his mom's basement doing "interpretive dance" or the middle-aged dude in the skirt playing DDR?)
    • by brkello (642429)
      Not really...if it was just the game play, then the Gamecube would have sold better. The remote is certainly the most compelling part of the Wii. I do agree that I don't see a huge market for this on the PC unless some big name uses it for its games.
    • Maybe crazy people like me will make games like Lute Hero [youtube.com] for the PC. The game engine is Neverwinter Nights 2, using assorted software to link the guitar keys to keyboard commands.
  • I vote we call it the Eeemote!
  • FPS controller (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:22PM (#24514531) Homepage

    Ever since I first used a Nunchuck on the Wii, I've thought it would make the perfect keyboard replacement for FPS games.

    Think about it. In most FPSes, you use the keyboard to move. 100% digital, on/off movement - you're either pressing the key or you're not. With a Nunchuck, you can use the analog stick to move at different speeds. You can rotate it lengthwise to lean, flick it to jump, and tilt it down to crouch. There are two buttons, good for other random keyboard inputs (night vision goggles? use?).

    Combine it with a 5-button wheel mouse and you should have enough controls for most any FPS.

    Maybe this controller gets us a little closer to that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770)

      Think about it. In most FPSes, you use the keyboard to move. 100% digital, on/off movement - you're either pressing the key or you're not. With a Nunchuck, you can use the analog stick to move at different speeds.

      And most of the time, rapid violent twists would be the optimum reaction. Maybe not all the time but very often you'd want to max out your movement and I think making the wiimoet work comfortably under those conditions would be difficult.

  • Oh, now that would just be *wrong* on so many levels.
    Lets see, there is the Wii and now the eee...lets hope it doesn't turn out to be a shiii(t)eeee stick.

  • The flaws I see... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tetrad_of_doom (750972) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @03:56PM (#24515225)
    • The Wiimote is a Bluetooth device, so why do I need this?
    • Why did they stick with the d-pad on the right hand unit? The only reason the wiimote has a d-pad is so you can turn the thing sideways and get an NES controller. You can't do that here.
    • The PC gaming scene is all about a single person gaming at the computer. The Wii gaming scene is all about groups of people playing in the living room. I'm not sure that is a gap this product can bridge.
    • The pictures make it look like pointing is done by reading gyroscopes and accelerometers, which will be less accurate than the wiimote sensor bar+infrared camera.
    • They'll need to package this with a killer app, and I don't see it.

    Copying somebody else and doing a half-assed job is no way to succeed in business. You've got to copy somebody and then improve the idea to make an impact.

    Get an infrared camera like the wiimote and put some straps with infrared LEDs on a player. You could use this for some real time basic motion capture. It won't be very accurate, but could be good enough to recognize a head nod/shake, a person pointing or waving and other basic actions. Now use this in WoW and suddenly your MMORPG is a lot more immersive.

    • by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @05:57PM (#24517395)
      Thread winner.

      The Wiimote is a perfectly usable pc peripheral. It's a somewhat low-resolution mouse replacement with some neat extra features. But the motion sensors by themselves are not the wiimote's main feature; the pointer is, which requires the sensor bar. Since this Asus device doesn't have the sensor bar, it's going to be far reduced in practicality from the wiimote.
      • Of course, it would be nice if the Wiimote itself had good enough resolution to really use as a mouse. I'd love to play FPS games with it on my Linux PC.

        And by FPS games I mean Portal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by merreborn (853723)

        But the motion sensors by themselves are not the wiimote's main feature; the pointer is, which requires the sensor bar.

        To take that a little further:
        The accelerometers in the Wiimote SUCK -- hence this new "MotionPlus" attachment they've got in the pipline. They're so bad, they're frequently an impediment to gameplay -- e.g., Wii Golf is pretty much unplayable, 'cause the accelerometers can't detect putts reliably.

        • I wish I could give you +1 for this. I've spent a fair bit of time playing tennis and boxing, but Golf is terrible.

  • You can use a standard Wiimote with your computer.

    Is this more accurate, cheaper, or neither?

    • by Xenolith (538304)

      Yes you can, but the Wiimote is hard to configure for the PC. The average person can't muddle their way through Glove Pie.

  • This is almost a textbook definition of driving a good brand into the ground. Asus started off with an awesome product (the Eee netbook), that was simple for consumers to wrap their heads around (small, cheap laptop). Based on it's popularity, Asus has decided to slap the "Eee" brand on a ton of products (monitors, mac mini clones, peripherals, and now a wiimote knockoff), thinking that the name alone will repeat the success.

    On the contrary, I think this product pile-on is damaging the brand.

    • by Khuffie (818093)
      I agree. I liked the first Eee netbook. I was looking forward to seeing it's next iteration and perhaps picking one up...but now I'm totally thrown off by the gazillion different configurations for the new netbooks alone, let alone all the garbage they decided to slap the Eee name on. Sorry Asus, you're not getting an Eee purchase off me anymore.
  • Sure, this seems like a 'rip-off' of Nintendo's controllers but it may have practical uses with a PC.

    Would this be ideal for 3D modelling?

    Imagine using this with something like Blender - instead of using the mouse and countless keystrokes you can intuitively use the Asus controller to work with the models.

    It could also be used in presentations - architectural models can be easily navigated by the presenter to an audience.

    I think this is a good idea and surprised how long it took someone to develop this for

  • The article only mentions it comes with a generic "2.4GHz RF dongle". Why don't they just stick to standards? They've got BT built in on their newer models...

  • I've actually been looking for something like a remote control that holds like a Wii-mote but has a small trackball instead of a D-pad. I have my computer attached to the 42" HDTV and a wired setup is pointless (and gives massive neck strain), wireless mouse doesn't always work in certain areas of the room. The keyboard works great but I just want something I can point and click on the directories and open the video files with. Something that my girlfriend or a random person stopping by can just pick up and

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